How to Join

“Are you looking for a way to get involved in your community and make a difference in the lives of others? Consider joining the Independent Order of Odd Fellows! Our organization is focused on providing support, camaraderie, and philanthropic activities to our members and the wider community. By joining the IOOF, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in charitable activities, develop new skills, and connect with a group of like-minded individuals who share your values. Our philosophy is based on the principles of friendship, love, and truth, and we strive to live our lives in accordance with these values. If you’re looking for a way to give back, make new friends, and grow as a person, the IOOF might be the perfect fit for you.”

generated by ChatGPT

The only way to join is through initiation or by transfer of an existing membership. If you’re already a member in good standing at another lodge, come to one of our meetings or events, present your dues card, and we’ll hand you an application on the spot. You can choose whether to make San José your new home lodge or just become a member by association.

To join by initiation, you’ll need to be sponsored. This isn’t meant to dissuade you, it just means we need to meet you first. Drop by a game day, a hamburger fry, an omelet breakfast, a potluck social, or one of our other community events, and introduce yourself. We’re friendly! Tell us a little about yourself and why you’re interested in joining, and you’ll have no trouble getting a sponsor on your application. Once you’ve been approved, you’ll be led through an initiation and become a full member of the lodge, entitled to all of the privileges and opportunities that membership includes.

We’re not a religion, and won’t conflict with any of your beliefs. We’re more like a social club with a mission – to have fun and make the world a little better while we’re in it.

Odd = Diverse
Fellows = People
We’re a diverse group of people who share a common set of values: Friendship, Love, and Truth!

Benefits of Membership

The biggest benefit of membership is having a group of like-minded people who want to support you and help you become the best possible version of yourself. Lodge functions are a chance to inhabit a “third space” that’s neither your workplace nor your home, where people know you and are happy to see you. As you decide you’re able, you’ll have opportunities to work on committees, conduct interviews, provide reports, and volunteer your labor for the good work that our lodge does in the community. In time, you may even find yourself leading the lodge.

IOOF retirement home in Saratoga, CA

However, there are a number of other specific benefits exclusive to members:

  • Members may rent the hall for free one time per year. Considering membership dues are around a tenth of the cost of renting the community center for a day, this is an extraordinary benefit.
  • We have lodges around the world. Almost anywhere your travels may take you, you will find an Odd Fellows lodge. They will be delighted to have you visit (or join, if you’ve moved permanently). It’s an instant social circle, made up of people who literally made a promise to practice friendship.
  • When California members reach retirement, they can move into one of the Odd Fellows retirement homes in either Saratoga or Napa, receiving a 2% discount off the cost of rent per year of membership.
  • Additionally, the Odd Fellows, as a 501(c)8 organization, is able to spend money on its own members from time to time as the need arises. This includes educational scholarships, financial hardship grants, and special opportunities only available to members of the order.
  • Finally, no member dies unmourned. When your time in this world is done, your lodge brothers and sisters will speak at your funeral and honor your memory.